9780521826730

The Origins of the English Gentry

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521826730

  • ISBN10:

    052182673X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-08-11
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

The gentry played a central role in medieval England, yet this is the first sustained attempt to explore the origins of the gentry and to account for its contours and peculiarities between the mid-thirteenth and the mid-fourteenth century. The book deals with the deep roots of the gentry, but argues against views which see the gentry as formed or created earlier. It investigates the relationship between lesser landowners and the Angevin state, the transformation of knighthood, and the role of knights in the rebellion of mid thirteenth-century England. The role of lesser landowners in the society and politics of Edwardian England is then put under close scrutiny. It also emphasises changes in social terminology and the rise of social gradation, the emergence of the county as an important focus of identity, the gentry's control over the populace, and their openness to the upward mobility of professionals.

Table of Contents

1. The formation of the English gentry
2. The roots of the English gentry
3. The Angevin legacy: knights as jurors and as agents of the state in the reign of Henry III
4. The crisis of the knightly class revisited
5. Knights in politics: minor landowners and the state in the reign of Henry III
6. Knighthood, justice and the early Edwardian polity
7. The explosion of office and its consequences
8. Identity and gentry
9. Knights, esquires and the origins of social gradation in England
10. Crystallisation: the emergence of the gentry
Appendices
Bibliography.

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